Global, International, and Cross Cultural Research in Info Systems (SIG CCRIS)

Paper Type

Complete

Paper Number

1275

Description

Organizing software research and development (R&D) in different globally distributed work (GDW) settings is common today. GDW often involves collaboration challenges and tensions related to cultural differences, asymmetric organizational positions, and other boundaries. Previous research has provided exceptional insight into tensions between onshore and offshore actors, and cross-cultural issues in GDW. However, less is known about what kind of tensions and collaborative discourses appear in globally networked organizations with accrued experience of GDW. This qualitative case study with software R&D professionals in India explores tensions and unifying discourses in a networked GDW setting. The findings indicate three sources of tensions, which appear work context-related rather than arising from onshore-offshore oppositions, and several types of unifying discourses reflecting collaborative approaches and mutual learning in a global environment. The paper contributes to theory and practice in understanding manifestation and evolution of tensions, and how they may be greeted in different GDW settings.

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Aug 9th, 12:00 AM

Exploring Tensions and Unifying Discourses in Globally Networked R&D Work

Organizing software research and development (R&D) in different globally distributed work (GDW) settings is common today. GDW often involves collaboration challenges and tensions related to cultural differences, asymmetric organizational positions, and other boundaries. Previous research has provided exceptional insight into tensions between onshore and offshore actors, and cross-cultural issues in GDW. However, less is known about what kind of tensions and collaborative discourses appear in globally networked organizations with accrued experience of GDW. This qualitative case study with software R&D professionals in India explores tensions and unifying discourses in a networked GDW setting. The findings indicate three sources of tensions, which appear work context-related rather than arising from onshore-offshore oppositions, and several types of unifying discourses reflecting collaborative approaches and mutual learning in a global environment. The paper contributes to theory and practice in understanding manifestation and evolution of tensions, and how they may be greeted in different GDW settings.